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2014 February 12 - 18 [OKINAWA]

Okinawa Pref. Assembly to set up special investigation panel on governor’s approval of landfill project

February 15, 2014
The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on February 14 approved with a majority vote a bill to set up a special investigation commission on the governor’s approval for reclamation of the sea area off the Henoko district for the planned construction of a new U.S. base.

The Japanese Communist, Social Democratic, and Okinawa People’s parties voted for the bill, while the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties voted against.

Just last month, the assembly adopted a statement demanding that Governor Nakaima Hirokazu resign. His breaching of his campaign promise to work to relocate the U.S. Futenma base outside the prefecture is being called into question.

The special investigation commission will meet from February 19 to 21 and again on February 24. Witnesses called to the panel meeting will reportedly include officials in charge of examining the state request for landfill projects and the mayor of Nago City, the relocation site for the Futenma base.

Chanting, “Governor Nakaima should retract his approval of the Henoko reclamation work,” and “Promise-breaking Nakaima should resign as the governor,” over 2,000 citizens on February 14 surrounded the prefectural office building in Naha City.

This action was organized by four opposition parties in the prefectural assembly, including the JCP, along with citizens’ organizations. Participants expressed their anger at the governor for allowing the Henoko landfill work to build a new U.S. base to proceed.

When representatives of the four opposition parties reported that they succeeded in establishing a special investigation commission, they received enthusiastic applause from the participants.

JCP member of the Prefectural Assembly Toguchi Osamu said, “We will invite Nago City Mayor Inamine Susumu to the commission’s meetings as a witness and also question Governor Nakaima.”
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